I’m sure by now as long as you have not been living under a rock you have probably heard that Duchess Kate Middleton is expecting! I get so excited at the news of a sweet new baby coming into this world. The idea that two people can create a new life is nothing short of a miracle and a true blessing.
On a heartbreaking and more serious note the Duchess unfortunately has been hospitalized and diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is an illness that most of the world knows nothing about. The HER Foundation for Hyperemesis research and education defines HG as a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to unrelenting nausea and/or vomiting with potential adverse consequences for the newborn(s). For those of you who are new readers and may not know, I survived HG with my daughter. Earlier this year 42 weeks after I gave birth I finally gathered the courage to write my story which I would love for you to read here if you can.
It has now been 1 year, 4 months and 4 days since I met my daughter for the first time. 492 days since I was freed from my HG nightmare and not a day goes by that I don’t think about it. Everything triggers flashbacks. Sometimes it may be a hint of a smell in the air or I drive by the road that I had to stop on more than once because I couldn’t make it home without getting sick. HG started for me right before Christmas so even sitting on my couch looking at my tree reminds me of the days and hours on end I didn’t move because I was so sick. I think back to how much I missed out in my son’s life while I was pregnant. I fought like hell to bring my little girl into this world. Every day I was pregnant I constantly feared I would loose her or that she would suffer because of what was happening to me. So to hear someone belittle or call HG “morning sickness” infuriates me.
Last night as I tried to get some work done I found myself in front of the TV until the wee hours of the morning listening to every late night gossip and talk show discuss how the Duchess has been feeling “ill” or “simply can’t keep down food or water.” Then in the same breath goes on to criticize her for playing field hockey with some small children days earlier in high heels. *Gasp* Or “Because of her condition she is more likely to have twins!”
Let me explain something to you. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a disease that for most women will last their entire pregnancy. Some women become sick even before getting a positive pregnancy test and end up being hospitalized before they even have the chance to tell their family. There are reports that Kate is not even 12 weeks along. By 9 weeks I had already been to the doctor 5 times to receive IV fluid treatments and had already lost 14 pounds. By 12 weeks I had lost almost 30 pounds. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is NOT morning sickness.
What the TV shows and ill-informed news broadcasts aren’t telling you is that HG is a potentially LIFE THREATENING disease. There are women who have died because they did not receive the proper treatment. There are women who fought through rounds and rounds of infertility drugs and finally became pregnant with their miracle baby only to be diagnosed with HG and weeks later find out that their little miracle didn’t make it. I have heard first hand stories from women who never believed in abortion but had to make one of the toughest decisions of their life because they had to make a choice between their life and the life of their unborn child. I know women whose husbands walked out on them because fighting the disease was just too much. I know women who lost their jobs, their houses, they lost everything because of the financial burdens HG brings.
My heart aches for the Kate and William as the next six months are going to be the hardest months of their lives. It has always been a firm belief of mine that God never gives you more than you can handle and everything happens for a reason. I hate that the royal couple are going through this but at the same time I see the glimmer of hope that possibly the world will become more educated about HG. I prayed for the longest time last night laying in bed because I couldn’t sleep. I had so many thoughts running through my head. I always try my best to keep my blog full of inspiration and joy but today I had to share this with you. So today I BEG of you, please pass along either my story or the stories of other strong HG survivors to anyone who is willing to listen. Please help to educate our world so that no one else has to suffer through this horrific disease by themselves. If you have time I would love for you to visit the HER FOUNDATION for Hyperemesis Education and Research where there are links for mothers as well as family and friends and please check out a couple of the blogs I follow written by HG survivors! To all of my sister survivors I would love for you to share your stories with us. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to add a link for you below!
Rachel shares not only her personal HG stories while trying to educate the world about HG but also offers wonderful words of encouragement to women who are suffering so that they too can become survivors!
A Mom of two beautiful girls and two-time survivor of HG shares her journeys though motherhood while also sharing wonderful advice on green living, natural birth, breastfeeding and more!
Mimi is currently battling her second HG pregnancy while raising her sweet toddler Annelise (who is only a couple of days older than Emma Grace!)
A must read as the hilarious and emotionally touching truth behind HG’s newly found publicity from a HG Survivor who battled HG SIX times!
An interview with HER Foundation Co-Founder Anne Marie King!
Interveiw with Mimi from Prisoner In My Own Body
Mimi does it again! She wrote a sweet open letter to Duchess Kate on her blog that was then published by the NY Daily News!
HG Survivors – We call ourselves Mommy Strong because there is nothing we wouldn’t do for our children.